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☞   National Brotherhood Week

This is an archive of prayers written for or relevant to National Brotherhood Week in the United States.

National Brotherhood Week was established in 1934 by the National Conference for Christians & Jews (NCCJ) and dedicated to emphasizing the values of welcoming immigrants, and for fostering interracial and interreligious tolerance and mutual respect in a pluralistic and multicultural civil society. During World War II, President Roosevelt explained its purpose: “We are fighting for the right of men to live together as members of one family rather than as masters and slaves. We are fighting that the spirit of brotherhood which we prize in this country may be practiced here and by free men everywhere. It is our promise to extend such brotherhood earthwide which gives hope to all the world. The war makes the appeal of Brotherhood Week stronger than ever.” To join the Brotherhood, one was invited to recite the following pledge written by director, David O. Selznick. (The pledge was disseminated in cinemas via a short film, The American Creed (1946), highlighting the approbations of many of Hollywood’s luminaries.):

I pledge allegiance to this basic ideal of my country—fair play for all.

I pledge myself to keep America free from the disease of hate that destroyed Europe.

In good heart, I pledge unto my fellow Americans all the rights and the dignities I desire for myself.

And to win support for these principles across the land, I join the American Brotherhood.

Originally set for the third week of February, in 1943 during World War II, President Franklin Roosevelt called for its celebration for ten days, from February 19th till the 28th. After the war, the “week” was either marked as the third week in February, February 17th through the 24th, or as the period between the birthdays of President Abraham Lincoln (February 12th) and George Washington (February 22nd).

Click here to contribute a prayer you have written, translated, or transcribed for National Brotherhood Week.


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For prayers composed for, or relevant to, United Nations Day, visit here.

[Children’s] Prayer for a Youth Service during World War Ⅱ, by Lilian Helen Montagu (11 April 1942)

Interdependence, a prayer by Dorothy Canfield Fisher (19 November 1944)

Prayer for Universal Peace, by Rabbi Hillel Lavery-Yisraëli (2019)

Prayer for Human Solidarity, by Rabbi Ḥanan Schlesinger

אַלװעלטלעכע דעקלאַראַציע פֿון מענטשנרעכט | הַכְרָזָה לְכׇל בָּאֵי עוֹלָם בִּדְבַר זְכֻיוֹת הָאָדָם | Deklarasion Universal de Derechos Umanos | Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)

[Prayer for] Brotherhood Week, by Rabbi Avraham Samuel Soltes (1951)

Iwo Jima Memorial Address at Fifth Marine Division Cemetery, by Rabbi Chaplain Roland B. Gittelsohn (21 March 1945)

Prayer at the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, by Rabbi Uri Miller (28 August 1963)

A Prayer for Peace After War, by Norman Corwin (1945)

Prayer for the United States after World War Ⅱ, by Rabbi Dudley Weinberg (AMVETS, ca. 1947)

An American Covenant of Brotherhood, by Rabbi Mordecai Kaplan and Eugene Kohn (1945)

Declaration of Interdependence, by Meyer David, Christian Richard, and Will Durant (1944)

Prayer for Brotherhood, by Stephen Vincent Benét on United Nations Flag Day (14 June 1942)

A Prayer for Peace and Goodwill Among the Nations of the Earth, by Rabbi Jonas Kaminkowski (1927)

בּרידער | “Brothers” – Y.L. Peretz’s Sardonic Rejoinder to Friedrich Schiller’s Paean to Universal Enlightenment, An die Freude (Ode to Joy)

How Beautiful It Is To See, a hymn on “Brotherly Love” by Penina Moïse (Ḳ.Ḳ. Beth Elohim 1842)

Three stanzas adapted from “Worship,” a poem by John Greenleaf Whittier (1848)

An die Freude | שִׁיר לְשִׂמְחָה | ode to Joy (Shir l’Simḥah), a Hebrew adaptation of the hymn by Friedrich Schiller (ca. late 18th c.)